Panel discussion: The rise of the African consumer: myth or reality?

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Panel discussion: The rise of the African consumer: myth or reality?

Introductory presentation: Gerald Mahinda (MD,Brandhouse),

Panellists: Dr Christo Wiese (Chair, Pepkor), Mncane Mthunzi (Executive Director, Massmart), Kofi Amegashie (Head of Africa Operations,
Adcock Ingram), and Dr Martin Oduor-Otieno (Founder Invest Africa).

There is increasing evidence of a growing consumer class in Africa. Africa’s population today of over 1 billion people is already as urbanised as China’s, with as many cities of over 1 million people as Europe, and with more middle class households than India. Market leaders such as Shoprite, Massmart, MTN, Unilever, Diageo, SABMiller, and several retail banks are all investing heavily in growth across the continent, with many other consumer-facing companies following their trail. Is the hype justified and what are some of the key lessons learned from the trailblazers that are unlocking the potential of Africa’s emerging consumer class?